For bullying prevention to work, everyone needs to be involved. That means we need help from parents, guardians, coaches, and community members too! Encourage children to help create welcoming environments at their schools and in their community by being kind and inclusive. Make sure your child knows to tell someone at school if he or she is being bullied and give your child the clear message that it is never okay to bully others. Thank you to our PUSD Students for creating the video above during the 2016-17 school year.
The District is committed to maintaining a learning and working environment that is free from bullying. Our Board Policies and procedures are reflective of the "Safe Place to Learn Act" (EC 234.1) as well the new legislation as outlined by Seth's Law.
Please review Board Policy 5131.2 for more information about Pleasanton Unified's Bullying Policy. Part of the policy is copied below.
The Governing Board recognizes the harmful effects of bullying on student learning and school attendance and desires to provide safe school environments that protect students from physical and emotional harm. District employees shall establish student safety as a high priority and shall not tolerate bullying of any student.
No student or group of students shall, through physical, written, verbal, or other means, harass, sexually harass, threaten, intimidate, cyberbully, cause bodily injury to, or commit hate violence against any other student or school personnel.
Cyberbullying includes the transmission of harassing communications, direct threats, or other harmful texts, sounds, or images on the Internet, social media, or other technologies using a telephone, computer, or any wireless communication device. Cyberbullying also includes breaking into another person's electronic account and assuming that person's identity in order to damage that person's reputation.
It is our school’s expectation that all bullying incidents will be reported.
- If school personnel witness an act of discrimination harassment, intimidation, or bullying, he or she shall take immediate steps to intervene when safe to do so (EC 234.1 (b) (1)). Many times the situation can be rectified before it requires complicated interventions.
- Referrals to the school counselor
- Referral to the office
- All reports are to remain confidential, as appropriate.
- We also take steps to protect the individual who makes the report from retaliation (EC 234.1 (b) (1))
* Extreme cases of bullying always go directly to our administration
Investigating and Responding to Bullying:
Once a bullying report is received, our school’s administration will begin an investigation within three days. If it is determined that bullying has occurred, our school’s administration will:
- Take appropriate disciplinary action
- Notify the family of the bullied student
- Notify the family of the student who bullied
- Provide immediate consequences for any student who retaliates against students who report bullying
- Students knowingly making false accusations of bullying may be subject to disciplinary action
Training and Bullying Prevention:
Our schools take a proactive approach to dealing with bullying by providing the following training and prevention education for our students and staff:
- Directly teaching students our positively stated school rules across multiple environments.
- Classroom presentations and/or assemblies by administrators and counselors.
- Staff members are trained and provided with resources to help create positive classroom climates to minimize the likelihood that bullying will occur.
Being able to Recognize bullying is the first step in getting it to stop.
When students learn to recognize bullying, they also increase their awareness of the problem and gain empathy for bullied students. Clarifying what bullying is and how it is both harmful and against school rules empowers students to avoid doing it and respond appropriately if they witness it. This stops bullying from being accepted as normal. It also helps bullied students understand that bullying is wrong and that they don’t deserve to be bullied, which can reduce the emotional harm suffered.
To Recognize bullying, we need to have a common understanding of bullying. Simply defined, bullying is mean or hurtful behavior that keeps happening. It is unfair and one-sided. The person being bullied, hasn’t been able to make it stop.
Reporting Bullying. We want our students to know to report bullying when they see it happening, and that when they do, caring adults will help them. Giving students a clear message to report bullying sets a positive norm, lets students who might bully know there will be consequences and supports adults in their efforts to reduce bullying.
For our older students
Bullying often occurs online, through social media and other cell phone related apps. This type of bullying is called cyber bullying, and is often kept secret or private from parents or other caring adults. Therefore, it is even more important for our older students to have the skills to Recognize when a friend or classmate is being bullied online, and help intervene by Reporting the incidents to caring adults.
Talk to your children at all grade levels about the different types of bullying. Emphasize the importance of Reporting incidents to a caring adult to help us create and maintain safe environments for all students. Research has shown that, “students can be especially effective in bullying intervention. More than 55 percent of bullying situations will stop when a peer intervenes.”
Refusing Bullying means to use words or actions to stop bullying. Being assertive is one way to refuse or stop bullying. Research shows “students can reduce their chances of being bullied in the future by responding assertively.” To Refuse bullying, it is important that students practice what to say before they need to say it.
To practice at home
- Have your student face the person they are talking to.
- Tell him or her to keep his/her head up and shoulders back
- Have him/her say in a strong, respectful voice: "Stop it, that's bullying" or "Stop it, that's mean," or "Stop, Leave him, or her, alone."
By following the 3 R’s of Bullying (Recognize, Report and Refuse) we help create and maintain safe learning environments. For more information and resources about bullying, please check out the following webpages.
- PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center
- Stop Bullying at stopbullying.gov
- Not in Our Town
- Protect Kids Online - Onguard Online.gov
Articles from www.care.com
- 8 Ways to Banish Bullying
- (Gulp!) What to do When Your Child is the Bully
- How to be a Plugged-In Parent
- Signs Your Child is a Bully or is Being Bullied
- Top 5 Tips for Dealing with Bullying in your Family
As part of our School Climate Transformation Grant and implementation of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), our goal is to support PUSD's Strategic Plan to create learning environments where every student and staff member feels safe, respected and enjoy's positive connections.
PUSD staff also works collaboratively with staff from the City of Pleasanton and the Youth Commission to focus on creating inclusive environments within our schools and throughout the community. Each October, we recognize the month as Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, and the third Wednesday of the month as Unity Day. For more information about Unity Day please visit Pacer's National Bullying Prevention Center Website.